Okay, this is a big statement coming from a small fry like me. But recently, it's become apparent to me that Social Media is in a downward spiral, and quite honestly, I think our society will go through a huge change in our online habits over the next few years.
Personally, I have been hit hard with the Instagram algorithm. Hard. I made a lot of new cosplays recently, especially over the pandemic, and went on many epic photoshoots. Also, I released two novels with great reviews and fantastic art. As I posted my work, the less it was noticed through explore and hashtags. I used relevant hashtags, posted on a schedule, etc etc, and yet my posts were not getting noticed. I had great engagement however, due to loyal fans. As my content upped its game, I was getting punished by the algorithms. I could go on and on, but I'll leave it at that. Apparently, I wasn't the only one. Remember a few months ago when the Kardashians shared a story 'Make Instagram Instagram Again?' They were frustrated too. But what did Instagram do? Double down on their reels and video aspect and defended their algorithms. This brings me to a recent event. Last month, I did an epic shoot for my new costume 'Red Sonja.' I spent two months crafting it on Patreon, building excitement for not only me, but for my supporters as well. I also paid for me and the photographer to drive out to the location and spend two nights in the area, which was eight hours away. I don't have a lot of spare money, but this was something I really wanted to do. Anyways, long story short, after the set was released on Patreon, I made a post about it on Instagram. I didn't even promote it, just sharing a photo. My post was not shown to 'non-followers' according to my insights, nor shown under the 'explore' page. I did a little digging and sure enough, I was shadow-banned under all the hashtags. To make matters worse, the Red Sonja official page featured my cosplay on their Instagram page (which I am forever grateful!) Guess what happened? That post that I was featured in was also shadow-banned. How did I find this out? I searched under their hashtags to find out that indeed I was shadow-banned...whereas their other posts with other features weren't. So apparently Instagram thinks I am a bot. I almost rage-quit Instagram that day, but held back. But do I want to post there anymore? Absolutely not. Why waste my time if no one new sees my posts? I am grateful that my friends saw my posts and gave me support, and definitely appreciate it. It's just terribly frustrating that I spent all my blood, sweat, and tears into this project for not to get shown to new people that might love the art that I create! Yes, cosplay can be an art if you treat it as so. And to me, I felt like I created a work of art that was swept under the rug. Regardless of this whole situation, I have amazing photos that I will proudly look back upon every time I open that album. That is the true gold.
So there you have it. After that, it put a fire under my ass to get this website up and have my own digital space that is home to me. I don't have to worry about algorithms or if Twitter is burning, or that Instagram is dead (which I do think, it's like MySpace was back in the day - completely empty.) Of course, I will occasionally check out my accounts to see what others are up to. But I will never again rely on free platforms to get noticed, as they have an algorithm that is tailored to favor a certain type of content/look/aesthetic. Since I don't fit into their world, I will create my own world here.
Back to the downfall of Social Media. Definitely there is a huge decline. People are logging in far less than they used to. Scrolling isn't much of a thing as it had been in the past. All the platforms are one giant advertisement. Many content creators are scrambling, unsure where to make their nest. I don't blame them. People are finding themselves offline more and living real life. We are tired of all the content shoved down our throats, the useless ads, the dumb dances of 20 year olds shaking their body-morphed fake asses, and plastic filtered girls who resemble 3D avatars instead of human beings. Again, I could be wrong about everything. I could eat my words come six months from now. Only time will tell.
If you would like to check out my Red Sonja photos, click here.